Bucks County Burglary Attorney

The district courts in Bucks County receive roughly 130,000 cases each year of all types. Approximately 10,000 of these are criminal cases. According to FBI data, property crimes across the country fell by about 7.2% from 2017 to 2018. Property offenses include theft of a motor vehicle, larceny, burglary, and others. The majority of these offenses are felonies and those who are convicted may face the following penalties.

Level of Offense

Period of Imprisonment

Maximum Fines

First Degree Felony

Up to 20 years

Up to $25,000

Second Degree Felony

Up to 10 years

Up to $25,000

Third Degree Felony

Up to 7 years

Up to 15,000

Burglary (§ 3502)

A burglary can be a crime committed in several ways and may be either a first or second-degree felony offense. The basis of the offense involves entering a private or public structure that is not open to the public at the time with the intent to commit a crime. The offense may be a second-degree felony if the building or structure does not accommodate overnight occupants and there is no person located inside; otherwise, it is a first-degree offense. Some scenarios may include an unlawful entry with the intent to create bodily injury or to commit theft of a substance listed in the Controlled Substance, Drug Device, and Cosmetic Act.

A burglary charge is typically accompanied by another charge(s) that is associated with the crime. If these other offenses are not first or second-degree felony offenses then the alleged offender will not be charged with multiple crimes. Some of the commonly used defenses may include:

  • The structure that was entered has been abandoned
  • The structure was open for public access
  • That the alleged offender had been “licensed or privileged” to enter the premises

Similar Offenses

A burglary charge does not necessarily involve “breaking and entering” the structure. For example, a door may have been inadvertently left unlocked. Criminal trespass (§ 3503) is a similar offense to burglary. This involves entering a structure that a person is aware that they are not allowed access to. It involves gaining entry to a structure through some “subterfuge” method or covertly remaining within the structure when they are not allowed to. In this case, the offense is a third-degree felony. When an entry is made by using force (“breaking into”) or intimidation it is a second-degree felony offense.

Burglary Rate in Pennsylvania

The state has one of the lowest burglary rates among U.S. states. In 2017, there were approximately 250 offenses per 100,000 people. The three states with the highest rate were New Mexico (858), Mississippi (828), and Louisiana (731). The states with the least number of burglaries were all along the east coast including Virginia (218), New Hampshire (191), and New York (176).

Importance of Retaining Experienced Legal Representation

When facing allegations of criminal offenses of this severity it is critical that seasoned legal counsel is retained. Burglary is an offense that may require that specific evidence or key circumstances be proven to obtain a conviction. Your criminal defense attorney must have a solid understanding of the law to ensure that your rights are protected and the allegations are fully challenged.

Defense Attorney for Burglary Charges in Bucks County

Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that has spent years representing clients in serious criminal actions. You can rest assured that a comprehensive defense strategy will be employed on your behalf. Contact the office today to discuss the details of your case by calling (888) 535-3686.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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